Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Union-Castle Line

All Things American Cruise Lines

Recommended Posts

What about on the main "cruise line forum page" right after AIDA cruises?

 

Mike:)

 

That would work for me. Chris?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Glad you had a great cruise!

 

Can you tell me the hours you were in each port (i.e. 8-5, etc.)? Were you overnight in any port?

 

What time did you leave Charleston?

 

Was there anyone on board giving enrichment lectures and if so, what were the topics?

 

Entertainment?

 

Did you stay completely within the Intracoastal Waterway? What was the tendering process like?

 

Thank you!

 

I do have all of the daily schedules and shore excursion offerings if you want to contact me via email.

 

Mike:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What about on the main "cruise line forum page" right after AIDA cruises?

 

Mike:)

 

I agree with Mike. It needs a separate area where it can be found easily on Cruise Critic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We plan to cover the christening of America on May 28 and have someone onboard for the subsequent cruise. So expect some fresh content from CC on American Cruise Lines!

 

Great!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We were overnight in each port, which was great!

 

We left Charleston at 1330 on the day of boarding and arrived Beaufort 2130 for the evening.

 

We departed Beaufort Monday morning at 0800 and anchored at Hilton Head at 1130 where we tendered a very short distance in the single tender which held 40 pax.

 

We departed Hilton Head at 1700 Monday evening and arrived at Savannah at 2000 docking right at River St. which was terrific as everything was just steps away. We remained in Savannah all day Tuesday and departed at 0230 Wednesday morning (the only night movement) arriving at Sapelo Island where we anchored at 1230 for a super short tender to the dock there.

 

We departed Sapelo Island at 1830 for Brunswick Ga where we arrived at 2230. We were in Brunswick for the evening and all day and night Thursday departing at 0830 on Friday.

 

We arrived at 1330 Friday and spent the evening docked at Amelia Island/Fernandina Fl where we disembarked the next morning.

 

Yes we had several lectures in the evenings; but alas we did not attend any of them since we were familiar with all of the ports, etc. We played cards, games, etc with our friends in the small midship lounge.

 

There were 2-3 pianists, singers at a few ports but that was the extent of the entertainment.

 

I think we were out of the intracoastal for maybe a couple of hours one day but that was it. The water and sailing were super smooth and some times within 50ft or less of the marshes. The captain said at the Muster drill if we were to have a breach of the hull just go to the top deck and we wouldn't even get wet as the water was only 15ft deep for most of the way.;)

 

Tendering was very easy and orderly boarding the tender at the stern of the ship through the dining room.

 

We booked the New England Islands for our next ACL cruise. I think our Princess cruise onboard the Coral to Alaska in August will be our last big ship cruise.

 

Don't hesitate to ask any further questions.

 

Do us a favor and ask the CC mods to add American Cruise Lines as a topic since they are becoming so popular. Just fyi the ships are built in America, The owners are American and all the staff is American. It was a very pleasant experience.

 

Mike:)

 

I just received my final documents today. Thanks for the information you provided. If I think of any other questions, I'll post here; otherwise, I'll write a brief review and post here shortly after I return on April 30th.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are considering taking an American Cruise line voyage next year with an emphasis on Civil War history. I am used to ocean cruises and have our first River cruise coming up in June, so expect the experience will be more comparable to that.

 

My question is that at first glance it appears to be very pricey. Is it a deluxe experience? Are the prices all inclusive of excursions, alcoholic beverages, gratuity, etc.? If not, what extras are to be expected? We chose Scenic for our first River cruise as they seem to be truly all inclusive. While I don't mind the extras on an ocean cruise, as the fares are so much lower, when I am playing more I don't want to be nickel and domed!

 

Thank you!

Edited by sunsetbeachgal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find this line to be very pricey for what you get. It seems that it does not include excursions. I would rather book a pricey Galapagos cruise that includes excursions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The pricing does not include excursions but they are priced from $20 to $50 which is far below mainline cruiselines.

 

That was the only thing we owed for upon disembarkation, nothing else.

 

Juices, soft drinks, coffee, espresso were available 24 hrs at no charge and open bar along with heavy h'ordeauvres were available daily at 530 pm. You are encouraged to bring any additional liquor you might desire onboard with you.

 

There was no comparison to a previous Galapagos cruise which cost 3 times as much.

 

I think the gratuity was $125 pp if paid in advance, which is what we did.

 

We have cruised many times in a suite on Princess and found the cost comparable taking into consideration what all we were furnished at no charge on the smaller ship.

 

Mike:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with Mike. It needs a separate area where it can be found easily on Cruise Critic.

 

Some of those cruise lines listed haven't had a post in 5-7 years.

 

i.e. Majestic Cruise Lines

 

Mike:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Some of those cruise lines listed haven't had a post in 5-7 years.

 

i.e. Majestic Cruise Lines

 

Mike:)

 

Majestic Cruise Lines went out of business!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I find this line to be very pricey for what you get. It seems that it does not include excursions. I would rather book a pricey Galapagos cruise that includes excursions.

 

These are U.S. flagged vessels as they only sail on U.S. rivers and coastal areas. They are required to hire U.S. workers, pay U.S. wages, etc., etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Majestic Cruise Lines went out of business!

 

And Cruise Critic still has a category for them listed.:eek:

 

Mike:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And Cruise Critic still has a category for them listed.:eek:

 

Mike:)

 

Hopefully, Cruise Critic will see this and remove them!

 

 

MAL went out of business by the end of 2008. As for the subforum. Hmm, I´ve used the alert function several times and asked the subforum to be removed. Nothing happened...

 

steamboats

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had already emailed both Jazzbeau and Chris and asked that a category "American Cruise Lines" be placed on the main cruise line page so you two might do the same. If they see enough interest it should happen.

 

Mike:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had already emailed both Jazzbeau and Chris and asked that a category "American Cruise Lines" be placed on the main cruise line page so you two might do the same. If they see enough interest it should happen.

 

Mike:)

 

It doesn't help to tell me -- I have no control over such things :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just received my final documents today. Thanks for the information you provided. If I think of any other questions, I'll post here; otherwise, I'll write a brief review and post here shortly after I return on April 30th.

 

Have thought of you several times this week.

 

Hope you are having a great cruise and can't wait to hear about it!

 

Mike:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike and All,

 

I returned home from my cruise yesterday and had a wonderful time! Look for my review by mid-week. I also took advantage of the onboard booking discount and booked an Upper Mississippi cruise on the new America for 2017!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mike and All,

 

I returned home from my cruise yesterday and had a wonderful time! Look for my review by mid-week. I also took advantage of the onboard booking discount and booked an Upper Mississippi cruise on the new America for 2017!

 

Terrific! We did the same and booked the New England Islands. Also transferred the booking to our TA and got an additional $500 rebate.

 

Can't wait to read your review!

 

Welcome home.

 

Mike:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've been running a bit behind this week. Look for my review sometime tomorrow!

 

You know I am watching.;)

 

Mike:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Along with one of my gal pals, I went on the Historic South & Golden Isles cruise with American Cruiselines, April 23rd-30th, 2016, aboard the American Star.

 

We flew to Charleston, SC on April 22nd, via Atlanta. We had both been to Charleston previously and I had been there several times, so we didn’t plan on spending much time sightseeing. We arrived at the airport around 1:30 p.m. and took a taxi to our hotel, the Holiday Inn Express located at 250 Spring Street in Charleston. It’s close to the Ashley River and there is a free trolley nearby that you can ride to the historic district as well as around other areas of Charleston. The room is what one would expect of a Holiday Inn Express, functional and satisfactory for a one night stay. There is an included hot breakfast buffet.

 

We had made reservations for a group carriage ride in the historic district and because we had limited time, opted to take a taxi ($10 for 2) to the Palmetto Carriage Company, 8 Guignard St. We had made a reservation online in advance for 4:30 p.m. I highly recommend this carriage company. The guide was extremely knowledgeable about the history of Charleston and I enjoyed seeing the historic district again.

 

After the carriage ride, we decided to go to a pizza place nearby, Di Giovanni, at 40 N. Market Street. Yes, I know there are great restaurants in Charleston, and I’ve been to a few, but sometimes you just want a hole-in-the-wall pizza joint. No “small” pizzas here, so we each ordered a slice (they’re huge) and a drink for $6.00. The pizza was very good. Their large pizzas are 28”, unheard of where I live.

 

We left for the Charleston City Marina, 17 Lockwood Dr., via taxi at 10:45 a.m. on the 23rd. It was a 5-10 minute ride from the hotel to the marina where the American Star is docked. Boarding was a breeze – we gave our names to the Hotel Director who was standing at the gangway with a clipboard, he checked our names off and we went aboard. Our stateroom was ready. We had a category A stateroom on the Main Deck. The cabin was 258 sq. ft., with 2 twin beds, a desk and chair, dresser, flat screen t.v. and two nightstands and lamps. There was a window and a nice sized bathroom. Plenty of room for two friends traveling together. We were very comfortable in this room and the stewards kept it very clean. One night, I came back to the room after the evening’s entertainment to find the lights in our room and bathroom not functioning. There had been a breaker which tripped and staff quickly had it fixed. That’s what nice about small ships - you can easily find staff to address any issues like this and it gets resolved immediately.

 

Lunch was served at 12:30 p.m. (more on the food later). It is open seating, so you can sit at any of the tables. I think I met most everyone who was on this cruise, either at one of the meals, at the evening happy hour/reception or just around the ship.

 

At 2:30 p.m. we had a safety instruction and film and then the cruise director spent some time reviewing the shore excursions (more on those later). The shore excursions are reasonably priced – averaged around $40.00 each. There was some disappointment when it was announced we would not be able to dock at Amelia Island, FL (Fernandina Beach) due to a Shrimp Festival. Instead, we were told we would be docking in Jacksonville. Fernandina Beach was to be our disembarkation port and we had arranged to pick up a rental car there to drive home, so we had to call and change our rental car pick-up to the Jacksonville Airport.

 

I then went to the top deck as we were underway and I wanted to take in some of the scenery on the intracoastal waterway. There are plenty of places to sit on the top deck and I did not miss having a balcony stateroom at all.

 

Did I mention the weather was perfect?

To be continued…

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. there is a reception every evening for the passengers in the main lounge. There are hors d’oeuvres and drinks –wine, beer, mixed drinks, soft drinks and it’s all included. I took advantage of this on the first evening and every other evening except one. It was a nice way to mix with the other passengers – but don’t eat and drink too much as dinner is served after...

 

Dinner is served at 6:30 and like all meals, it is open seating. The food on the ship was excellent, a much higher standard than on the cruise ships I’ve previously been on. Our chef was very accessible and if you had a special diet or you did not care for the choices on the menu, you could request something else. There is a card you fill out at breakfast with your choices for lunch and dinner and an area to put in a special request. The chef really tried to please everyone on this cruise and succeeded. The service was great by the staff. Beer and wine are available at both dinner and lunch and are included.

 

Internet: There is complementary wi-fi on the ship in the mid-ship lounges, but not in the stateroom-at least not in mine. Internet service was fast – I used it to check my emails in the evening. There are also computers and printers available in the midship lounges-many were using them on the last day to print boarding passes.

 

Next: Entertainment, Ports and Shore Excursions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Entertainment: The entertainment is not at all like on ocean cruises. It was one person, local to the area where we were docked, along with the onboard expert, who provided the each evening’s entertainment. Entertainment was at 8:15 p.m. every evening. Two of the seven evenings we had Charlie Petrocci, who was the onboard expert. The very first evening, Charlie gave a presentation on our upcoming trip and shared some history about the area. Another evening, he showed a film about the eco-system on the intracoastal waterway with a discussion that followed. I honestly thought it would be boring, but it was very interesting and Charlie has a good sense of humor that kept it lively. He also gave a lecture on pirates on the last day, but that was not part of the evening’s entertainment. The two entertainers who stood out on this cruise were Eveline, who had stories & songs of Beaufort and Chris Paul, her brother-in-law, a guitarist who also sang and had a compelling personal story. We also had a pianist who took requests, a singer/comedian and on the last evening…no entertainment. As we docked for disembarkation in Jacksonville instead of Amelia Island, apparently the entertainer did not get the notice of the change of port and we were notified while waiting for the entertainment to begin of the miscommunication. The new onboard expert for the next cruise was there and lead an impromptu discussion and some trivia – I chose not to stay, but my friend, who stayed, reported that those who did enjoyed it.

 

Oh, did I mention that if you are still hungry, they serve root beer floats, ice cream sundaes and popcorn during entertainment? I never tried any of that deliciousness as I was maxed out from dinner. Beverages and snacks and cookies are also available in the lounge during the day. Just help yourself!

 

Next: Ports and Shore Excursions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...